Interlock is a non-profit organization that provides space for its members and the local community to develop and share their interests in science, technology, art, and culture.

Interlock goes to Iceland to meet Hakkavélin

When we travel, it’s common for hackerspace members to reach out to other hackerspaces located in our destinations. It’s a great way to meet the locals, share ideas, and learn how other people run a hackerspace. Interlock has entertained guests from all over. Sometimes travelers will email us saying they are doing a tour of hackerspaces in the region and wanted to stop in for a night. When we’re available, we’re happy to entertain at the space and even take them out for a drink. I remember one visit from a group travelling first to New York City (NYC Resistor, Alpha One Labs), going up through Syracuse (SIG 315), to Rochester (Interlock) and ending up in Toronto (Hacklab). Our members have visited spaces all over the country; Florida, Texas, California, North Carolina, and Washington DC are a few that I can remember. There is even a hackerspace passport that Noisebridge started where you can get it stamped at the various hackerspaces that you visit.

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Myself and another member recently visited Iceland for New Years for just over a week and the day after we landed, we jumped on the Hakkavélin IRC channel to reach out to see when open hours were and if we could arrange a visit. While the space wasn’t opened due to the holidays, Sigurður óskarsson was kind enough to meet us at the hackerspace to take us out to a cafe in town. We talked shop a bit, discussing projects people were working on and history of each others’ spaces, along with operational details like how they handled membership and how much they charged.

We learned about their door system which consisted of a full computer sitting outside of the space controlling the door lock. In order to get in, you have to figure out how to use the console in a hackery way. As I understand it, there’s also an IRC bot which controls this door if you message the right user. Located inside the University of Reykjavik, the group is just outside of the downtown area in South Reykjavik. With only four hours of light this time of year, I wasn’t able to get a good look at the university but the buildings I saw were pretty with huge glass walls.

If you have never considered looking up a local hackerspace on your vacation or business trip, I would strongly recommend you consider it next time. It’s a great way to meet like-minded folk in different locations.

from on January 7th, 2015Comments0 Comments

Electronic Drum Set

I wanted to tell you my progress in making the electronic drum set.  The drum pads/cymbals/cowbell is a peizzo element sandwiched between 1/4 inch MDF and foam pad.  The peizzo is wired to a 1/4 inch phono jack.  The drum module was the part that I looked into before starting this project.  Finally found MicroDrum that interfaces with an Arduino and can connect 48 different drums.  It is cheaper then getting a profession drum module that can do 10.  I am just in the middle of making foot pedals for the base drum and the hi-hat pedal that is made out of 1/2 inch MDF, hinge and spring.  The base drum is a peizzo and the hi-hat is a momentary on-switch.

 

Drum Module

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Toms/Snares

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Cymbals and Cowbell

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from on December 21st, 2014Comments0 Comments

Keeping it together with Trello

At our December monthly meeting, Joe Hale demonstrated Trello, a web-based productivity system based on the supply-chain management concept of kanban.  A Trello board is made of “lists” of self-contained “cards.” Each card should have all of the information needed to take action, such as to-do checklists, photos, links to documentation, etc.  The state of the card is indicated by the name of its list (“Ideas”, “Active”, “Need Help”, etc).  The “goal” is for the cards to move from left to right as ideas progress from vague concepts to completed projects.

Trello at a glance: here's some of our ideas and active projects.

Trello at a glance: here’s some of our ideas and active projects.

It’s important for all of us to know what projects are underway at Interlock.  Many of us have particular skills or equipment that could help a project move along, or we might simply be interested in learning more by collaborating.  While it’s great to get together and talk about plans in person each month, it’s impossible to get all of us together at the same time with any regularity, and sometimes inspiration hits at weird times.  Having an easy mechanism to jot down ideas, track the progress of projects, and collaborate with others is helping us be more effective and creative already, and the detailed records of a project evolving should help us blog with more regularly!

Please feel free to browse our public projects board to see what we’re up to between our monthly meetings.  If you’re an Interlock member and would like access, create a Trello account and then let Joe or another board member know your username.

from on December 15th, 2014Comments0 Comments